Bipolar disorder can be defined as a brain disorder that causes a change in a person’s mood and energy. It causes extreme mood swings, which range from emotional highs to emotional lows.
When mood swings shift to mania, a person may feel extremely happy and full of energy. Mood swings also affect sleep, energy, behavior, and the ability to think clearly.
Mood swings can be recurring; they can come multiple times a year. More than 5.7 million US adults age 18 years and above are affected by it. Bipolar disorder is the fourth most common mental disorder worldwide.
TYPES OF BIPOLAR DISORDER
There are various types of bipolar related disorders but based on certain bipolar disorder symptoms including mania or hypomania and depression, it can be classified into 4 major categories.
1) Bipolar I disorder:
It causes massive mood swings. People suffering from this disorder, during a manic episode, sometimes feel high and uncomfortably irritable. And in the depressive episodes, they feel extremely sad.
2) Bipolar II disorder:
A person may experience at least one depressive episode and a hypomanic episode, but not a manic episode.
3) Cyclothymic disorder:
If a person experiences periods of hypomania and depressive disorders for at least two years, then he is suffering from Cyclothymic disorder.
People can experience specified and unspecified symptoms that are not mentioned in the above list.
SYMPTOMS OF BIPOLAR DISORDER
People who have bipolar disorder can experience episodes of both high and low moods and unusual intense emotions. The severity may differ from one person to another. The severity may also change from less to more or vice-versa and can change over time. The symptoms can sometimes last for years.
Symptoms of mania (“the highs”):
Feeling happy, elated
Having trouble sleeping
Making risky and realistic plans
Being more active than usual
Being agitated and irritated
High sex drive
Symptoms of depressive episodes (“the lows”):
Feeling sad and hopeless
Lack of energy
Either eating too much or too less
Thinking about suicide and death
Not able to enjoy anything
PATTERNS OF DEPRESSION AND MANIA
A person who has bipolar disorder can experience more regular episodes of manic depression than mania or vice-versa. ‘Normal mood’ also exists between the episodes of depression and mania though the pattern is not the same, and some people can also experience:
Rapid cycles: When people experience four or more episodes of mania or depression within 1 or 2 months without having a normal period in between, then it is called ‘rapid cycling’. In this, they experience extreme mood swings, which can be very high at one point to very low and then back again for over a period of days or hours. It can become challenging to control.
Mixed state: A person with a bipolar disorder can have symptoms of both mania and depression, which includes anxiety, insomnia, hyperactivity, racing thoughts, and agitation. It is very dangerous to have such symptoms, which can sometimes become a reason for suicidal thoughts.
CAUSES OF BIPOLAR DISORDER
There can be no single cause of the bipolar disorder, but there are several factors that can contribute to increasing the risk of it:
Genetics: Some research suggests that specific genetics in people can lead to the development of the bipolar disorder. Though it is not said to be the sole reason for bipolar disorder.
Family history: A child is more likely to develop it if his parents or siblings have experienced bipolar disorder as compared to those who do not have a family history of it. Bipolar disorder has a tendency to run in families.
Brain structure: Studies shows that people with bipolar disorder may have different brain structure than healthy people or people with an altered mental disorder.
TREATMENTS OF BIPOLAR DISORDER
There are specific treatments, medications, and psychotherapies available for bipolar disorder. It is a lifelong illness, but with continuous bipolar disorder treatment, its symptoms can be controlled. Twenty-five percent of people receive the diagnosis for bipolar disorder.
Medications: There are different drugs available that can help in controlling the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Such as :
Mood stabilizers: The oldest and most reliable mood stabilizer is lithium carbonate, which helps in reducing the symptoms of mania and suicide. Antiseizure medications such as e valproic acid and lamotrigine are also available. The recovery rate is 40 to 85 percent.
Atypical antipsychotics: These help in controlling the symptoms of bipolar disorder but can cause specific side effects.
Antidepressants: Their use is controversial. However, they can be used with mood stabilizers and antipsychotics.
Psychotherapy: Talk therapy, along with medication, can prove useful for treating bipolar disorder. It helps in the early diagnosis of the symptoms and provide support and educates a person on different aspects of bipolar disorder.
BIPOLAR DISORDER CLINICAL TRIALS AT CMB MEDICAL TRIAL:
Convincing people to participate in paid clinical trials can be complicated. Several factors can influence the decision to participate in a clinical trial, the most prominent being whether you wish to contribute to the advancement of medications.
Your participation in a clinical trial does not only benefit other patients and prospect treatments for several diseases, but you can also get early access to medicines that are not yet available for the general public. You are also financially compensated for your time and effort.
Your participation in a clinical trial can help in medical advancement, and clinical research studies cannot be conducted without you. If you are someone living with Bipolar disorder, then you can participate in Bipolar disorder clinical trials, Colton.